A gaming table. [Ralf Steinberger/Flickr]

In his Budget Address last month, Gov. JB Pritzker asked lawmakers to send him a standalone sports-betting bill, instead of working to craft an omnibus gambling package that would include sports betting, using the common statehouse metaphor of a “Christmas tree,” which tends to collapse under its own weight.

Pritzker’s proposed budget relies on $170 million in licensing and other fees the state would charge to get sports betting — which last summer was essentially legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court — off the ground in Illinois, with the promise of $200 million in annual tax revenues later. The governor asked for urgency in the legalization effort.

“Every day we argue about who’s in and who’s out is money that goes to other states and to the black market,” Pritzker said.

Related: Pritzker vows ‘constrained’ budget proposal will chart new course for Illinois

State Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Chicago), who has long advocated for various forms of gambling expansion, took the governor’s advice and on Thursday will file four amendments to HB 3308, to offer four different models of legalized sports betting for lawmakers to debate. Those four choices, Zalewski said, will hopefully jump start negotiations on the bill.

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